Vancouver Flying University

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Vancouver Flying University is initiated by independent journalist Am Johal in collaboration with writer Jeff Derksen and Urban Subjects(US).
Based on the concept of mobile seminars and talks that Hungarian and Polish dissidents used to skirt authoritarian state institutions, Vancouver Flying University considers the current context of gentrification and economic distortion of Vancouver’s inner city in the lead up to the Olympics in 2010.
An active reframing of the political and social dimension of the civic dialogue has taken place to prepare the public for the coming of the spectacle of the Olympics in 2010 Vancouver Flying University is looking to take a critical view of displacement, private security expansion, changes in policing policies and the development of concepts and positions which limit the right to the city and the processes by which they have become normalized in the civic imagination.

Program 2008
Space//Troubles: Critical Cultural Practices
Gallery Gachet. September 11, 7pm.

Talk by Jochen Becker & panel discussion
with Clint Burnham, Candice Hopkins,
Irwin Oostindie, Sadira Rodrigues

Jochen Becker, Berlin-based artist, is a curator and critic who writes for Springerin, and is co-editor of Metrozones, Berlin. His curatorial projects include FROM/TO EUROPE, on the colonial foundations of Europe, Shedhalle Zurich, 2006/2007.

Clint Burnham is a Vancouver-based writer, critic, and educator at Simon Fraser University. His creative and critical books include Be Labour Reading, Smoke Show and The Jamesonian Unconscious.

Candice Hopkins is a Vancouver-based writer and curator. She is the director and curator of the exhibition program at Western Front, Vancouver.
Her writing has appeared in C Magazine, Leonardo, FUSE, and other publications.

Irwin Oostindie is a Dutch/Canadian artist, curator and administrator doing cultural planning and cultural infrastructure development, including working as Executive Director of Gallery Gachet.

Sadira Rodrigues is Acting Director, Continuing Studies at Emily Carr University, Vancouver. She was Assistant Curator of the 2004 Shanghai Biennale and has written for Thirdspace and Yishu.

Space Collaborations: Working on Housing
MUNCH. Gallery Gachet. September 12, 4pm.
Panel discussion with Jochen Becker, Wendy
Pedersen, Inge Roecker, Annabel Vaughan

Wendy Pedersen is Coordinator of the Carnegie Community Action Project, which recently released the report, “Nothing About Us Without Us: Community
Visioning for the Downtown Eastside.”

Inge Roecker is the principal architect of ASIR architekten and is an assistant professor of architecture at the University of British Columbia. She is also co-founder of Living Lab and works with the City of Vancouver’s Chinatown Revitalization Program.

Annabel Vaughan is an architect working in Vancouver. She teaches architecture at the University of British Columbia and is a member of Space Agency, a local group of artists, architects and writers making space for the discussion of architecture in the public realm.

Space Collaborations is presented by the Downtown Eastside Community Arts Network as part of MUNCH.
MUNCH is a regular series of critical discussions on cultural planning and arts issues affecting the creative people living and working in the Downtown Eastside.

Urban Frontiers: Gentrification and Otherwise
SFU Harbour Centre. September 16, 7pm.

Talk by Neil Smith & panel discussion with Nicholas Blomley, David Eby, Laura Track, Elvin K. Wyly

Neil Smith is an urban geographer who has been central to the critique of gentrification, a distinguished Professor and former Director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His books include The Endgame of Globalization, The New Urban Frontier, and Uneven Development.

Nicholas Blomley is a professor in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University. His books include Unsettling the City: Urban Land and the Politics of Property and How Law Matters To Political Geography: Handbook of Political Geography (forthcoming).

David Eby is a lawyer with Pivot Legal Society and co-author of the report “Cracks in the Foundation” on homelessness and housing in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side (DTES).

Laura Track works with the PIVOT Legal Society and is the co-author of Beyond Decriminalization: Sex Work, Human Rights and a New Framework for Law Reform. She also filed a human rights complaint on behalf of VANDU and United Native Nations against the Downtown Ambassadors.

Elvin K. Wyly is an urban geographer at University of British Columbia. He co-edited the textbook Gentrification and co-authored “The City as an Image-Creation Machine.” He is currently working on a research project, “Displacement, Gentrification, and the Politics of Evidence.”

Picture This: Artists’ Videos Around Housing and Urban Dynamics
Gallery Gachet. September 19, 7pm.

Domènec: Real Estate#2 (2007, 5 min)
Heidrun Holzfeind: The Mystery of God Revealed (2004, 35 min) and Corviale, il Serpentone (The Snake) (2001, 34 min)
Julia Meltzer & David Thorne: Take Into The Air My Quiet Breath (2007, 17 min)
Lotte Schreiber: Borgate (2008, 15 min)
Sabine Bitter/ Helmut Weber: Living Megastructures (2003–2004, 25 min)

Domènec lives and works in Barcelona. Recent exhibitions and screenings include Modern Shorts, New Museum, New York; Post-it City, National Museum, Brasilia; Passer-By, Tel Aviv Artists’ Studios, Tel Aviv. He is member of the editors’ team of Roulotte.

Heidrun Holzfeind lives and works in New York. Recent exhibitions and screenings include Exposed, Documentary Fortnight exhibition, MOMA, New York; Manifesta 7, Principle Hope, Rovereto, Italy; and Mexico 68, Sala Arte Publico Siqueros, Mexico City.

Julia Meltzer & David Thorne live and work in Los Angeles. From 1999 to 2003, their projects centered on state secrecy and the production of the past. Current works focus on the ways in which visions of the future are imagined, claimed and realized, specifically in relation to faith and global politics. Their work was shown at the Whitney Biennial and the Electronic Media Arts Festival in Osnabruck.

Lotte Schreiber lives and works in Vienna. In her series of filmic examinations of architecture and (urban) space, she addresses gaps between sociopolitical utopias of Modernism and their realities today. Recently her work was shown at
ar/ge kunst Galerie Museum Bozen, Italy and the ZKM, Karlsruhe.

Inverted Education: Alternative Knowledge Production
Gallery Gachet. September 21, 6pm.

Panel discussion with Nathan Allen, Hendrik
Beune, Kristina Podesva, Stefanie Ratjen, Jayce Salloum

Kristina Lee Podesva is an artist, writer, and curator based in Vancouver. She is the founder of colourschool, a free school within a school dedicated to the speculative and collaborative study of five colours (white, black, red, yellow, and brown). She is cofounder of Cornershop Projects, and an Assistant Editor at the Fillip Review.

Jayce Salloum has been working in installation, photography, new media, and video since 1975, as well as curating exhibitions, conducting workshops and coordinating cultural events. Recent exhibitions and screenings include Govett-
Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand and E-flux Video Rental.

Nathan Allen is the coordinator of Insite for Community Safety, the non-profit organization which ran the campaign to save Insite, Canada’s only safe injection site.

Stefanie Ratjen is the Vice President of External Affairs for the Alma Mater Society at the University of British Columbia is a member of Students for a Democratic Society.

Hendrik Beune is a community activist and new media developer, whose activities focus on the DTES. Locally he is active with the Fearless media, Fearless TV clusters and the Fearless Writers Circle as well as with the W2 group. His main interest are social justice, community building and new media ethics.

Critical Media: Interventions in the Public Sphere
Gallery Gachet. October 25, Time TBA.

Talk by Omid Memarian & panel discussion
with Deborah Campbell and Sean Condon

Omid Memarian is a journalist and blogger known for his news analysis, regular columns, and blog.
He works as a freelance writer for the Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency. He received the Human Rights Watch’s highest honor in 2005, the Human Rights Defender Award. Omid is currently a World Peace Fellow at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Deborah Campbell is an adjunct professor of
Creative Non-Fiction at the University of British Columbia, a contributing editor of Adbusters
Magazine and an independent journalist whose work has appeared in The Walrus and Harper’s Magazine.

Sean Condon is a Vancouver-based writer and
journalist and is the Editor of Megaphone

The Idea of the SRO: Histories & Perspectives
Gallery Gachet. September 27.
Panel Discussion
Aboriginal Housing and the Right to the City
Gallery Gachet. October 15.
Panel Discussion